By Raquel Geylman
Catcalling (also known as street harassment) is basically the phrase, “I am going to shout profanities at this woman whom I don’t know, whistle at her, and make crude gestures towards her and hope that she finds them endearing” put it into one single word. Women, I can assure you, do not find catcalling endearing, nor do we take it as a compliment. In fact, most of us think it’s objectifying and dehumanizing, and no, we do not like that kind of attention. What ever happened to the time where women were courted, and taken on dates? (I think I was born in the wrong decade).
According to “The Telegraph”, 84% of women who are catcalled are between the ages of 11 and 17. When I think back to my own experiences, I was catcalled most frequently when I was around 16 and walking downtown with my friends. In another study in New York, one woman got catcalled over 100 times in a ten-hour period. How can a women feel safe walking around her own city when she can get street harassed at the age of eleven?
Street harassment can affect people’s everyday lives. If someone is catcalled on public transportation, he or she will eventually choose a different route, which may be less convenient. Catcalling can also cause people to change their habits they have become accustomed to or even stop doing activities and hobbies they enjoy..
When I am walking down the street, I do not want some random man whom I don’t know to tell me I need to smile more, tell me how beautiful I am, or look me up and down and whistle. It makes me feel unsafe walking around that area, and it angers me when I think about how they think it is okay. I am not a walking sign that you need to stare at and comment on. I cannot wait for a time where women feel safe walking the streets and do not have to worry about being objectified by misogynistic men!